I really get the feeling that some stand-up comedians simply use race as a fallback incase they are sinking.
Tuesday night at The Blues Room in Sandton, a couple of the comedians started to sink and I wish they had. Comedy nights at The Blues Room are a gas. They generally get in top class acts to rip through some fantastic jokes and observations.
Four guys performed last night. Three of the four were black and one guy was a man of colour, but not coloured as he noted, but not white either. Anyways that is besides the point. The point is, comedy is great, laughing is awesome, the occasional well placed insult at an audience member is fantastic but at somepoint if you keep insulting me for being white I’m going to be pissed off.
Out of the four guys the MC – Loyiso Gadwa (please correct me on his name if you know better) was by far the best and most together act of the night. Strangely so in fact as he had the toughest job and longest set. He dragged us out of the depths of suicide and made us laugh everytime he stepped on to the stage.
But then came Ronald or something. A young black guy from Pretoria. Ronald had it for a minute or two but then he threw it away. Racial jokes are great when they are well placed but there is MUCH more to life in SA than race in every situation! Put it this way; I know what my faults are and it is amusing to have them pointed out but don’t tell me what “white people don’t do” or “can’t understand” when I do and understand. Then I get pissed off. The key to a great comedian is phenomenal observation skills. This Ronald character may as well have worked at Mc D’s cause he has obviously never seen a white person other than the Pretoria locals he encounters occasionally. The dude lost it and almost ruined the nite with his crass swearing and over-the-top language in every joke.
The next dude I can’t even tell you what his name is. He was that forgettable so I wont delay.
Loyiso came back on, blew us away and then it was time for Trevor Noah. Trevor is the not so white, not so coloured guy. He was brilliant. After 2.5 hours of racial innuendo’s and blatant awkward insults Trevor was a breath of fresh air. Not a single racial joke in a half an hour-ish set.
The crown jewel in all of the jokes was one related to Dtv (Deaf TV) and muting the sound to answer a phone. The guy was brilliant, effective, equal, honest and open. His skits included stuff about airport announcements around SA, accents, Television, sports and much more. The most refreshing thing was that he insulted, berated and applauded every race as human beings and equals.
I hope I got the two comedians names right, if I haven’t please let me know. If you get a chance to see them sometime, treat yourself.
But I leave you with this note; race is old, outdated material, the man who ventures beyond the obvious will win the laughs of the masses.
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